Strong sales volumes in the final month of the year herald a change in market direction.
The number of houses sold in December rose for the second consecutive month. The December tally of 175 house sales was 16% higher than the average number of properties sold per month for the previous 11 months. Market volume fell throughout the year to a low point of 138 house sales in October. Since then month on month growth and strong early January enquiry are positive indicators the market is trending towards recovery.
The median number of days a property spends on the market also fell to 38 days indicating a lift in the confidence buyers have in the market.
Hamilton’s median price consolidated at $326,750. The median price has shown volatility during the year trading in a range between $320,000 and $350,000. However, this was a side effect of the unusually light volume of sales throughout 2010.
As could be expected in a stronger selling month the number of properties available for sale fell. However, the number of properties entering the market in early January would suggest this may have been caused by the shorter month rather than by the higher sales.
The outlook for 2011 is for sales volumes to continue building. Whilst it may be some time before we see price increases the old adage that price follow volume still haunts our thinking.